The availability of lateral flow testing for people with Covid-19 symptoms has been extended into this month, August.

Health Minister Robin Swann made the announcement last week, saying: “While indications are that we are moving in the right direction, with regard to the trajectory of the pandemic, and that [infection] prevalence is reducing, it is vital that we keep the situation under review,” said Minister Swann.

“Thankfully, the overall risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death for those who contract Covid-19 continues to be much lower than during previous waves.

“However, we continue to see severe pressures in our hospitals and the contribution of Covid-19, even though admission numbers are smaller than in previous waves, adds to these pressures.

“After careful consideration, I have therefore decided to extend the current availability of lateral flow testing [kits], including for those with symptoms, for a further short period, as a precautionary measure.”

Under current arrangements, lateral flow tests are available to members of the public with Covid-19 symptoms, including importantly those who may be eligible for Covid-19 treatments.

Tests are also available to a small number of groups without symptoms, including health and social care staff, those visiting others in health and care settings, and those providing close personal care to someone at higher risk should they contract Covid-19.

Further details can be found at NI Direct.